Continuing our January theme of productivity, I spent some time thinking about the obstacles that stand in the way of a truly productive day. Disorganization, procrastination, incoming emails, focusing on the wrong thing are all issues to address; but have you ever thought about the impact the wrong lunch can have on your output?
Remember the other day when your colleagues suggested a pub lunch? You headed to the pub and ate a huge burger/pizza/plate of pasta; washed down with a pint of beer/coca cola/lemonade? Then spent the afternoon feeling a bit sleepy and running at 50% of capacity?
The article I have linked to goes into depth (and is well worth reading!) but some of the key takeaways include:
Foods high in carbohydrates or sugars tend to release energy very fast, leaving you slumped at your desk by 3pm. Not very productive!
Fatty foods make your digestive system work harder, reducing oxygen to your brain and making you feel groggy and dull witted. Not very productive!
Letting yourself get really hungry and the devouring a huge lunch leads to drops and spikes in your glucose levels which can impair cognitive function. Not very productive!
Making a few small changes to your snacking and lunch habits during the working day can have a huge impact on your productivity, allowing you to be in tip top form for the whole of the working day. I defer to greater authorities on the best way to do this and the best things to eat, but it's worth having a look if you really want to maximise your productivity in 2016.
The first is to make your eating decisions before you get hungry. If you’re going out to lunch, choose where you’re eating in the morning, not at 12:30 PM. If you’re ordering in, decide what you’re having after a mid-morning snack. Studies show we’re a lot better at resisting salt, calories, and fat in the future than we are in the present. Another tip: Instead of letting your glucose bottom out around lunch time, you’ll perform better by grazing throughout the day. Spikes and drops in blood sugar are both bad for productivity and bad for the brain. Smaller, more frequent meals maintain your glucose at a more consistent level than relying on a midday feast.